Crunch talks over future of closure-threatened Hartlepool medical centre

Council leaders are to discuss the potential closure of a Hartlepool medical centre.

By Nic Marko
Monday, 20th June 2022, 9:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 7:10 am

Hartfields Medical Centre, at Bishop Cuthbert in Hartlepool, reopened to patients in January after previously being temporarily shut since mid-March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Operator McKenzie Group Practice, however, is still looking at applying to health chiefs to permanently close it and consolidate services at its other town sites.

A second stage of engagement, after an initial round last year, is currently underway and this week Hartlepool Borough Council’s audit and governance committee will agree its response to this.

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Hartfields Medical Centre. Picture by FRANK REID

Representatives from McKenzie Group and Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group will be at the meeting at the Civic Centre at 2pm on Thursday, June 23, to provide a presentation exploring the centre’s potential future.

A council report states the latest engagement will “look more closely at the impact of a possible permanent closure, whilst also exploring alternatives to the branch being fully open and closed”.

At the meeting there will be the opportunity for verbal input from councillors, Hartlepool’s MP, Healthwatch, residents and other interested groups.

The public engagement is being carried out collaboratively between Tees Valley CCG and McKenzie Group over an eight-week period which began last month.

It will end at midnight on Sunday, July 3, and a survey link can be accessed at www.wynyardandhartfields.co.uk/page1.aspx?p=15&t=1.

The latest round of engagement had been due to begin in January and end in March.

But health chiefs pushed the start date back until after the May local elections to ensure it was “robust” following Covid-19 pressures and other delays.

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